Quality in subtitling: theory and professional reality

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Title: Quality in subtitling: theory and professional reality
Authors: Kuo, Szu-Yu
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: The issue of quality is of great importance in translation studies and, although some studies have been conducted in the field of subtitling, most discussions have been limited to aspects such as how to become a good subtitler and how to produce quality subtitles. Little research has been carried out to investigate other potential factors that may influence the quality of subtitling output in practice. In recent years, some subtitling courses at postgraduate level have attempted to bridge the gap between academia and industry, not only by incorporating the teaching of linguistic and technical skills into the curriculum but also by informing students about ethics, working conditions, market competition, and other relevant professional issues. This instruction is intended to prepare them for promising careers in the subtitling industry, where a progressively deteriorating trend has been observed by some professional subtitlers. The main aim and objective of this study is to explore both theoretical and practical aspects of subtitling quality. The study aspires to call attention to the factors influencing the quality of subtitles and also to provide suggestions to improve the state of affairs within the subtitling industry in terms of quality. In order to examine the potential factors that influence the perception of subtitling quality, particularly in the professional context, two rounds of online surveys were conducted to establish the working conditions of subtitlers. Despite the fact that the participants in the first survey were based in thirty-nine different countries, the data collected is more representative of the situation in Europe, where subtitling is a relatively mature industry compared to other parts of the world. The second survey targeted subtitlers working with the Chinese language in an attempt to study the burgeoning Chinese audiovisual market. This thesis provides a systematic analysis of the numerous parameters that have an impact on the quality of subtitling, both in theory and in professional reality, and offers a detailed insight into the working environment of subtitlers. At the same time, it endeavours to draw attention to the need to ensure decent working conditions in the industry. The general findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the development of the profession as well as for subtitler training and education.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Jan-2014
Date Awarded: Mar-2014
Supervisor: Díaz-Cintas, Jorge
Department: Centre for Co-Curricular Studies
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Centre for Co-Curricular Studies PhD theses

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